YOU + THE WIND vs. THE APPLE SCAB, a story by Ty Defoe
You can’t see me but you can feel me.
I am the wind.
I love playing especially with my best friends in the whole wide world, the crabapple trees!
When my breeze blows through their leaves, we make the most awesome songs.
I have played with many people, animals, and insects for years, years, years, and years here in Crabapple Grove-- all the way back to when the natural caretakers of the land, The Lenape Peoples, traveled in dug out canoes along the Hudson River. There was once a time when hundreds of beavers lived and swam in The Hudson River too!
AND there were thousands of more trees here before these buildings.
At that time, my wind ancestors blew through the lands freely!
There was also a time when the crabapple trees got apple scab! It’s a sickness where the leaves fall and get these large spots and well…. Sometimes those trees pass away.
I want to make sure apple scab never happens again, like ever. I am worried when I have to drift to another place I won’t be here to help protect the trees. I think it will take all of us to keep the trees safe from apple scab.
I am going to need everyone's help. There are so different ways you can help save the trees!
So, do you want to help make sure that apple scab doesn’t happen to the trees in this grove?!
CHOICE A: HUGS
I sometimes cannot contain myself too!
I am bursting with the need to show my friends I care. I love my tree friends so much.
Sometimes I want to squeeze everything in sight! You know what I mean?!
Did you know, hugs are one of the important ways to show you care? Baby rabbits, kittens, puppies, even beavers all need cuddles and hugs. I need hugs, even though I, the wind, am invisible. Hugs create an energy like no other. Hugs can make the trees become stronger and protect against anything. When you hug a tree, you can first feel it in your toes, into your legs, then in your chest, then up into your head.
To show we care, let's go to the trees and give some hugs.
Walk among a tree until you feel totally comfortable.
Feel the bark with your hands.
Smell the scent of the various woods.
Look up at the sprawling branches.
Encircle the tree with your arms, maybe gently pressing your cheek to the trunk being careful not to scratch your face.
Squeeze tightly and sigh deeply.
Do this at least 4 trees!
CHOICE B: TREE SHAPES
Have I told you how thankful I am that you are here to help the trees in crabapple grove from apple scab?! This apple scab is caused by a fungus. I know weird right?! I’ve been so worried about my friends and that I have tried to blow my breeze across the leaves to get rid of the spots they produce from the fungus and that isn’t working.
I remember once the leaves of the trees and I would dance together during the springtime here in Manahatta, which means, Island of Many Hills in the Lenape language.
The Lenape Native People once took really good care of us here and still do. They were good neighbors. We would tell stories, sing songs, and play games. You know, I wonder if we played with the trees if that would cheer them up?
Find a tree that you really like.
Stand in front of it or sit
Look up at the branches and look at the trunk
Create those same shapes of the tree with your arms and legs
Hold that shape and see how high you can count
I think you are helping!
CHOICE C: LOOK
Look. Look! No really look. If you haven’t seen apple scab before it is eww eww gross. It can’t hurt humans like ever. But, as I said, it can harm the trees. So, first things first.
Put on the invisible suit next to you so you can be like me, the wind. Also, please place the helmet on too. Now, there you look like me, the WIND!
Now, take your wind goggles in your hands and place those on.
Your eyes are now magnified.
You can see all the details in the trees and leaves.
The colors are really bright aren’t they?!
Let’s start walking.
Okay pick a tree.
Walk around it in circles and look up.
Zoom in on the branches, on the leaves. Do you see it?!
Look very, very close. Yes. You see it. Very good. Once you identify it then you can do something about it.
CHOICE 1: RITUAL
If you are reading this right now. It is because this might be one of the best things we can do to save the trees in this grove from apple scab. We need to make a ritual. Rituals are like magic, kinda like a healing-spell and they all run in my wind family. Sometimes I need to whistle or howl for dramatic effect when I do it.. But, this ritual is for the trees. I think making a ritual is kinda like making a wish, a wish that can help cure the trees quickly!
Are you ready?!
Gather these items and place them in a pile.
Something that is smooth
Something that is rough
Something that is pretty
Something that is special
One tiny flower petal
Then, repeat after me:
Free yourself from apple scab!
Do this 3 times with movements.
It’s helping! It’s helping! It’s helping!
Turn in a circle. YES!
Now, one final moment to complete your journey.
CHOICE 2: HEAR
You want to hear from the trees and how apple scab might affect them!
Part of healing from something like apple scab is listening. Listening is so important because it really shows that you care. Also, fun fact listening really helps our minds and hearts grow just like the trees. Listening also takes lots of practice. So for us to listen to the trees about this apple scab business we are going to have to really hear what they have to say to us.
Find a spot to lay on your back OR squat down close as you can to the earth OR simply place your hand to the ground
- Take a big breath and let air out
- Close your eyes and listen
What do the trees sound like? What are the trees saying?
YES! You are getting the hang of this my friend! Move the final moment!
How can I thank you! Thank you, Wanishi as this land knows, in the Lenape language.
Over hundreds and thousands of years apple scab has happened to the trees and will keep on.
BUT all is not lost! Your care and attention to my friends helped save the trees in crab apple grove from apple scab. It will never be over. It really takes everyone to come together to care and let others know how to take care of the trees. I know, my wind ancestors and the tree ancestors have been playing forever and now, you are part of that. COOL.
One last thing. I have to blow away now but, I will be with you again.
Look up over there towards the tree branch.
That one right there. Yes, that one.
Okay and now, I need you to SMILE!
You are on Crab Apple Camera!
Thank you for everything my friends.
Your new friend,